Most speeding tickets for Livonia come from the heavily traveled U.S. 190 east-west corridor, but some council members want additional emphasis on neighborhoods.
The discussion at the Town Council meeting on Aug. 9 involved ideas that ranged from speed bumps, speed humps or flashing speed indicator signs.
The direction the town should take on the issue varies among council members.
Councilman Greg Jarreau said he believes the town should use speed humps rather than speed bumps.
Speed bumps are the more aggressive of the two with regards to slowing traffic.
They are higher than a speed hump and are shorter in width.
Speed bumps reduce the speed of vehicles to around 5 mph. They are more commonly used in parking lots and on private roads.
Speed humps, according to trafficsafetyzone.com, are “more forgiving” in slowing traffic.
Speed humps can be driven over at a speed of 15 to 20 mph and are commonly found in school zones and along residential roads.
“Speed bumps are easy to drive over, but you can’t go fast,” Councilman Ron LeBlanc said. “The hump is better for the driver and better for the street, but twice the price of a speed bump.”
Mayor Rhett Pourciau said he believes the town should install signs before they move forward on speed zones.
Police cars in a residential neighborhood help, but they pose their own problem, Police Chief Landon Landry said.
“It’s hard for us to blend in (neighborhoods),” he said.
Livonia neighborhoods are not known as speed ways, but speed limits considerably slower than highways do not guarantee safety.
Even the speed limit is misleading, particularly with children at play in neighborhoods, Landry said.
“A speed limit is a limit – not a speed suggestion,” he said. “Personally, I think speed limits in subdivisions should be lowered.
“At the same time, there’s no law that you have to slow down for a speed bump.”
Jarreau said he does not like speed bumps but stressed the town needs to continue its diligent approach to safety in the neighborhoods, even if it involves speed bumps.
“It would really bother me if someone got hurt after we chose to do nothing,” he said.
Landry said after the meeting that the problem is intermittent.
Most of the speed issues involved motorists who do not live in the subdivisions, he said.
“We’ve had very good compliance from local people,” Landry said. “If we have problems, it’s usually people passing through, regardless how it seemed.”
He added he believes speed limits of 25 or 35 mph are not acceptable for neighborhood streets.
“In a neighborhood, it’s really too fast,” he said. “I don’t where a speed limit should be more than 15 mph.”
Digital signboards may be the best option for now, Landry said.
The town has never had a pedestrian struck in a neighborhood auto accident, and speeding is not a widespread problem in residential areas, he said.
U.S. 190 remains the thorn in Landry’s side.
“Most of those speeders on 190 go at least 15 miles over the speed limit and the vast majority are going 25 miles over the speed limit,” he said.
“U.S. 190 is a problem and will continue to be a problem.”
In May, the council gave the green light to install traffic cameras at the two lights on U.S. 190.
The traffic cameras will monitor speeding and other moving violations along U.S. 190, with no expense to the town.
Sensys Gatso Group is working with state on the process to begin installation of the cameras.